Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SPANISH WATCHTOWERS #3&4 Baluarte and Darigayos/Balaoan (La Union)


"While one stands free on pebbled shores and slowly being taken down by the sea, others are forgotten in their antiquity. They have served their purpose and are now part of our history"
-pagnapagna
-my pagnapagna-

I went to Luna, La Union early in the morning of October 20, 2013. 
Arrived at Luna town proper at 5:58 am and took some photos and videos of  the St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish / Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan Church. After which, I went to see one of the famous tourist spot of the town which is the "Baluarte"

Magically, i turned into a kid again. .. LOL!. I love sketching.

While i sat down at a distance doing my "outdoor sketching", morning joggers came to see and took photos of the "Baluarte"

Here I am, Outdoor sketching the Baluarte. 
The previous photo of a boy sketching was a resident in the area.

People from other barangays were also there to earn a living as "stone pickers" and not to mention the kids that surrounded me offering their collection of colorful pebbles stocked inside a local brandy bottle priced at around 35 pesos. 
These kids stayed around looking at me, my work and my sketching.

From inside the "Baluarte" looking outside through the entrance

After I have done sketching, two men arrived on a motorcycle, parked and they went inside the "Baluarte"

He is getting ready to leap to the other side

One of them climb the wall of the 'Baluarte" and into the top rim he walked leaping to the other half of the circular wall.

Can you see him sitting at the edge of the cracked wall? The view must be great up there.
They were chewing "momma" a betel nut concoction common to Cordillerans. 
I went inside near them and said, "Taga ngato kayo nya" (you are from the Highlands) and they replied,  "wun taga Baguio" (Yes, from Baguio). I think most of the Cordillerans usually say they are from Baguio even if they are not, just to shorten the story as Baguio City is the "popular" place in the Cordilleras. 
After a while, he probably read the embroidered words on the back of my shirt which was pagnapagna.blogspot.com, one of them said "pagnapagna? wun sika diyay nya?" (pagnapagna? yes that was you?)
I nodded back as an answer.  
"Isuna diyay ni" (that's him there) he said to his companion. 
He then added, "wun sika dyay napan pay dyay DANAC, adu  napanam nga waterfalls idiay San Gabriel en nya?" (Yes, you are the one who went to DANAC, you have gone to many waterfalls in San Gabriel?)
After some chit-chat they went on their way. They said they were going to see the stone sculptures of a Korean somewhere down the road along the pebbled shores.
I had also my time at the "Baluarte", so i went back downtown Luna to ride a tricycle going to Darigayos area where another not-so-popular old Spanish watchtower is located.
On tricycle, together with the driver, we went southwards. Passed by the barangays of Barrientos, Nalvo Norte and Nalvo Sur. At Barangay Darigayos we passed by the USAFIP-NL Military Shrine and Park, beach resorts area and a bridge, arriving at the "drop-off' at 10:46 am.
From the main road i walked my way to the seashore passing by a poultry farm that produces eggs then into some residential houses. At the coral stone laid seashore, i walked for some 100 meters southwards and there at eastern side was the Old Watchtower. 

the watchtower at barangay Darigayos
Its upper portion looms from the bushes and trees that surround the structure. There was a small trail going to the watchtower that leads to its entrance. I lingered some time at the area and did some sketches under the hot noon sun. Luckily i had my umbrella.

I went back at the roadside and got a jeep ride (1:35 pm) going back to San Fernando City, La Union and eventually to Home Sweet Home.


-end of pagnapagna-





Watchtower at Barangay Victoria

Refered to as "BALUARTE", this brick and stone circular in plan structure stands lonesome on pebbled shore. Being one of the largest and most intact (aside from being broken into two), it is the most visited, thus being the most popular among the other old Spanish watchtowers here in La Union.

The structure was damaged due to big waves of the sea. The eroding pebble shores finally got near the base of "Baluarte" cracking it and dividing it into two. The tower now leans and much more its other half facing the sea. Thanks to some concrete shorings it prevented it from further leaning that may results to further damage.

For the sad fate of the Baluarte Watchtower 2015 (Half-standing, Half-fallen)  CLICK HERE


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Watchtower of Balaoan


Stands at the coral stone laid shores near Darigayos area (Balaoan, La Union side) and few more meters from the bridge is this brick and stone rotund watchtower. Slowly worn by time, shrubs and small trees grows at its walls penetrating to its crevices and cracks. I say this is a little less smaller than the "Baluarte" in Barangay Victoria. In this one, deterioration is more evident.

From my inspection:
  • a depression or an excavation can be seen at its entry point 

P.s. Previously, I thought the location was in Darigayos, Luna, La Union. I found out from the Declaration of the watchtower by the National Historical Institute as "national treasures" that it is in Balaoan, La Union

For my sketches of the watchtowers CLICK HERE


A Video of "Baluarte" and the Old Spanish watchtower  of Balaoan near Barangay Darigayos


Subject   : “Baluarte”
Location :  Barangay Victoria,
                 Municipality of Luna
                 Province of La Union



How to get there:

From Manila take a bus bound for any of these Nortwest Luzon places : Laoag City (Ilocos Norte), Bangued (Abra), Vigan City (Ilocos Sur), and Candon City (Ilocos Sur). 
You have to get down at the Bus stop near the Church at Balaoan, La Union (just across the Balaoan Municipal Hall). Cross the national highway and go to the road beside the Municipal Hall. There are tricycles at the corner, ride on one of these tricycles to go to the town of Luna (going west). Get down at the Church area at Luna, La Union.
At Luna, La Union, walk your way to the road at the back of the church where there will be a school. Beside the school is a road leading to the seashore where the “Baluarte” is located.


Subject   : Balaoan Old Watchtower
Location :  Barangay near Darigayos,
                 Municipality of Balaoan
                 Province of La Union



How to get there:

From Manila take a bus bound for any of these Nortwest Luzon places : Laoag City (Ilocos Norte), Bangued (Abra), Vigan City (Ilocos Sur), and Candon City (Ilocos Sur). 
You have to get down at the Bus stop near the Church at Balaoan, La Union (just across the Balaoan Municipal Hall). Cross the national highway and go to the road beside the Municipal Hall. There are tricycles at the corner, ride on one of these tricycles to go to the town of Luna (going west). Get down at the Church area at Luna, La Union.
At Luna, La Union, (ask directions going to Darigayos) take a tricycle ride to barangay Darigayos until the drop-off at the roadside (few minutes after the bridge and near a beach resort) now in Balaoan. Walk your walk towards the beach passing by an egg-poultry farm. At the beach walk your way towards south along the shore where you can see the watchtower at the eastern side.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the directions to the Balaoan Watch Tower. Btw the Baluarte Tower has been restored...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it was restored already. I also had blogged on this http://www.pagnapagna.com/2017/01/baluarte-something-old-something-new.html .
      You are very much welcome!

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    2. Sorry I should say Reconstructed. :-) Cheers!

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